With the weather getting chillier and the holiday season creeping closer, I treat myself weekly with a fun holiday drink. There is nothing quite as cozy as sipping into something warm and watching a movie or taking a stroll around the neighborhood to look at festive decorations. Whenever I think of a holiday drink, I automatically picture the time at Starbucks when I waited in the rain in San Francisco for two hours for my Caramel Brulee latte along with the signature holiday cup. However, this year I decided to experiment and make my own holiday drinks filled with mocha, caramel, and peppermint. I am sharing the best holiday drinks with a twist that I think would get anyone into the winter spirit.

Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate

Photo by Aliona Gumeniuk on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

I love hot chocolate. I think I spent my entire seventh-grade drinking hot chocolate every morning. I have tried frozen, peppermint, and classic hot chocolate from many different locations. Though I have experimented with the toppings by adding sprinkles, marshmallows, or whipped cream, I have never changed what goes into it besides the milk and the chocolate and maybe the occasional peppermint. I found so many articles on adding different ingredients to enhance the flavor of the classic hot cocoa all of us are used to. These articles range from adding simple cinnamon and vanilla extract to heightening the flavor with chili powder and ginger. With such great variations, which all seem to work, I am excited to try making a gingerbread hot chocolate or even a peanut butter one and expand my horizons. This also got me thinking that there is still a lot of experimentation that can be done. If Portillo’s can add a slice of chocolate cake to its milkshake, who says you cannot add it to your hot chocolate as well!

Switch Up Your Morning Joe

As a caffeine addict, I am truly hooked on the holiday lattes that spring up in cafes. I remember drinking mocha lattes while completing an assignment and feeling great. Peppermint or caramel mochas are my go-to for a holiday drink, but I want to make the most of kitchen ingredients to experiment in making different coffee drinks. I was able to find plenty of articles explaining how to make my favorite holiday drinks at home while also giving me new ideas, such as honey coffee. I love stirring honey in my tea and I never thought to try it in my coffee. The combination of honey mixed in with earthy flavors of coffee beans will make this a drink that I will continuously come back to. Again, like what I said with hot chocolate, I think it is all down to experimentation. I am looking forward to trying a Mexican mocha spiced with cayenne pepper.

No Milk? No Problem

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

From being lactose-intolerant and pursuing a plant-based diet, I am really trying to cut back on dairy products and I did not realize that there are a lot of holiday drinks that are also dairy-free without the need to substitute with dairy-free products. Apple cider is delicious either cold or hot, but have you experimented with various add-ons? Apple cider, just like the previous two drink profiles, can be uniquely modified with different ingredients. I love drinking classic warm apple cider, but I am excited to try adding turmeric and ginger to set up a cozy vibe while also benefiting my health.

I think this adventure has taught me that experimentation is needed. With me being at home and having many basic ingredients, I think it is necessary to change up the usual flavors that I am used to. I hope this article gives you the motivation to make your own holiday drinks with a twist as it did for me!